Some associations have extra space for various amenities. Some have parks, tennis courts, or even lakes and water features. One amenity that’s a feature in some associations is playgrounds for children. There are many different types of playgrounds and play apparatus for associations to choose from. Whether your association has had a playground from the beginning or it’s considering the addition as a capital expenditure, there are certain things an HOA board should keep in mind.
Your playground must be built or maintained up to certain standards
Depending on the apparatus being installed there will be requirements for space around the apparatus for maintaining safety. The HOA board should consult professionals in the field to ensure that playgrounds are built or maintained with proper space between different apparatus. You should do this before making any changes to an existing playground or building a new one.
There are surface requirements for the safety of children
When they’re jumping off an apparatus or hitting the landing area off a slide, there needs to be a level of safe cushioning. For example, some playgrounds are required to have engineered wood chips that are made safe for playgrounds. The chips must be to a certain depth throughout the playground area for child safety.
ADA issues must be considered
The HOA board should make sure the playground is compliant with the ADA. For example, having an ADA access ramp entry to the playground area that must be maintained.
Schedule regular inspections
Inspections should be scheduled yearly to keep your playground safe under the eye of a professional. This will keep you abreast of any safety concerns that should be addressed. These inspections should be taken seriously and corrections made in a timely manner. By keeping on top of your playground in this manner, child safety will be maximized and your association will also be protected from the risk of exposure to accidents or injuries that could have been avoided.
It’s crucial to think far past the idea of just having a playground so that children will have a place to play. By following some simple guidelines however, your HOA board can work toward ensuring that you not only have a place for children to play, but that it meets the required standards for safety for both your children and the entire homeowner’s association.